I have two links to New Mexican food…my sweet sister-in-law has some extended family from there originally and a friend took a culinary and artistic road trip through Santa Fe and Albuquerque a few years ago.
Apparently bizcochitos are a very famous New Mexican sugar cookie made with lard (they sure seem to use a lot of lard in their food), sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and flavored with anise seeds. I found out about them soon after my trip, but I’d been avoiding them because I’m not a huge licorice fan. This year I figured I’d give them a chance this year because I can’t eat butter right now and I really love rendering my own lard (an odd fascination I picked up in learning to make tamales a few years ago). If I had known what crispy, pastry-like flaky cookies they would have turned out to be, I would have started making them a long time ago. These are one of those pastries that has multiple layers of flavor–you taste the crisp first, then the cinnamon sugar, then a faint bit of anise, and then the lard right at the end of the taste. Bizcochitos were hands down the dark horse of this year’s cookie selection. And the recipe makes about a million, so there are plenty of opportunities to take a couple without depleting the stash for all of the bags of cookies that I’ve made for people.